Stellantis has released outline details of its on-going in-road inductive charging trials at the Arena del Futuro circuit in Chiari, Italy.

The programme, set up to assess the capability of Aleatica’s Dynamic Wireless Power Transfer (DWPT) technology, a system of inductive coils positioned under the asphalt that transfers energy directly to electric vehicles as they travel along the road.

The testing saw a modified Fiat New 500 travelling at typical highway speeds without consuming any of the energy stored in its battery. According to Stellantis the tests suggest the efficiency of the energy flow from the asphalt to the car is comparable to the typical efficiency of fast charging stations. Furthermore, measurements of the magnetic field intensity suggest there is no impact on the vehicle occupants.

Anne-Lise Richard, Stellantis’ Head of Global e-Mobility Business Unit said, “Working with this incredible group of partners, we have proven that inductive recharging technology can power our electrified future. These joint projects are exciting steps as we work to achieve longer battery lifespan, lower range anxiety, greater energy efficiency, smaller battery size, outstanding performance and lower weight and cost.”

At the event in Chiari, Stellantis also displayed a Maserati Grecale Folgore to announce Maserati’s upcoming involvement in the project. Folgore identifies the full electric version of Maserati, which will electrify its entire product range by 2025. The Grecale Folgore will be outfitted and run on the Arena del Futuro circuit to collect data and deploy a detailed performance analysis.

The Arena del Futuro inductive system is powered by direct current (DC), which offers a number of advantages over AC induction, namely: reduced power losses in the energy distribution process; guaranteeing a direct integration with renewable energy sources without the need to convert DC into AC; and using thinner aluminium cables for current distribution, aluminium being easier to source, half the price of copper, and lighter and easier to recycle in a circular economy business model.

DWPT is available in both dynamic and static inductive versions. In addition to applications on roads and motorways, it is also also suitable to support the electrification of transportation vehicles at other infrastructure hubs such as harbours, airports, and parking lots.